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Y. Zheng, W.-L. Wong, E. Lamoureux, T. Aung, N. Cheung, J. J. Wang, P. Mitchell, T. L. Young, S.-M. Saw, T. Y. Wong; The Prevalence and Causes of Visual Impairment in an Urban Indian Population in Asia: The Singapore Indian Eye (SINDI) Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):5208.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To describe the prevalence and causes of visual impairment and blindness in an urban Indian population in Singapore.
A population-based, cross-sectional study of Indian persons aged 40 years and older residing in Singapore was conducted in 2007-9. An age-stratified random sample of 6,350 Indian names residing in south-western Singapore was provided from a national database. Potential participants were contacted by telephone and home visits to determine study eligibility, and invited to a centralized clinic. Participants underwent standardized ophthalmic assessments to determine: (1) presenting and best corrected visual acuity (VA) using the US definition of blindness and low vision; and (2) the primary causes of visual impairment. Prevalence rates were adjusted using the 2000 Singapore census data for the Indian sub-population.
Of the 6,350 names selected, 4,555 were eligible to participate, and of these, 3,379 (74.2%) were examined. When defined using presenting VA, the population-weighted prevalence of bilateral blindness was 0.5% (95%CI: 0.3-0.9) and of bilateral low vision, 16.9% (95%CI: 15.6-18.4). When defined using best-corrected VA, the corresponding prevalence of bilateral blindness was 0.25% (95%CI: 0.11-0.52) and of bilateral low vision 8.9% (95%CI: 7.7-10.2). Under-corrected refractive error was the main cause of presenting unilateral (68.1%) and bilateral (60.7%) visual impairment, whereas cataract was the main cause of presenting unilateral (31.1%) and bilateral (42.9%) blindness. Diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma were the other leading causes of blindness and low vision.
The age-standardized prevalence of bilateral blindness and low vision in an Indian population living in Singapore were lower than reported from studies in rural India, but slightly higher than reported in the Malay population living in Singapore. Cataract is the leading cause of blindness and under-corrected refractive error and cataract are the leading causes of low vision.
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